Welcome Matt: Best and worst landing spots for Bedard if Canucks don't win draft lottery tonight

May 8 2023, 5:44 pm

sekeres and price

The NHL draft lottery goes tonight with its biggest prize since Connor McDavid in 2015.

It’s the other Connor. Or our Connor if you’re a British Columbian.

North Vancouver’s Connor Bedard is perhaps the greatest hockey prospect our province has ever produced. And so if he can’t be a Canuck — and the local team has just a three per cent chance at landing him, worst of all teams — then let’s deliver him to a franchise and market we can feel good about.

Forgive me if this sounds too parochial, but let’s handicap the teams, odds and potential destinations:

1. Anaheim (25.5%)

He’ll never be bigger than Mickey Mouse and calling Anaheim a B-market might be slanderous to B-markets. The Ducks are the second team in SoCal. Hard no.

2. Chicago (13.5%)

The Wirtz family and this organization don’t deserve him. Not after the way they handled the sexual assault of Kyle Beach. Hard no.

3. Columbus (11.5%)

The place where NHL light goes to die. There are no national endorsement opportunities for anyone in Columbus. Hard no.

4. San Jose (9.5%)

Just down the coast, terrific sunbelt market, could really use his services. Alas, in the Canucks’ division. Hard no.

5. Montreal (8.5%)

Already have had too many nice things over too long a period, including Juraj Slafkovsky last year. Hard no.

6. Arizona (7.5%)

Coyotes would need him most with a vote on a potential new arena coming up. But Bedard going there would be a Rolls Royce outside tin shack. Hard no.

7. Philadelphia (6.5%)

Big hockey market that could really use a boost. Eastern Conference, too. We’d only see him once a year, but so be it.

8. Washington (6%)

Bedard to Ovechkin for record-setting goal No. 895 has a nice ring to it until you consider a) Ovie is Vladimir Putin’s chief sporting propagandist; and b) the Canucks could’ve had Washington’s odds with more losses down the stretch. Hard no.

9. Detroit (5%)

Like Philly, a terrific hockey market that could really use a star. Also sitting on Canucks’ former odds, which disqualifies the Wings from being a feel-good winner. Nope.

10. St. Louis (3.5%)

Relatively inoffensive other than being a recent Cup champion and employing Jordan Binnington. Again, one spot away from the Canucks and with odds that could’ve been Vancouver’s. Nope.

So, really, if Bedard can’t be a Canuck after tonight, let him be a Philadelphia Flyer. Beyond that, the only options are nauseating.

Matthew SekeresMatthew Sekeres

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